Two inspirational brothers and their journeys to completion

16 October, 2014

“It was nice to have Warren working beside me on the programmes; I was able to go to him if I was stuck on a part he had already been on.”

14-year-old Ricky Li and his 16-year-old brother Warren are remarkable siblings whose abilities seem to know no bounds. Both students enrolled on the Kumon Maths Programme at the York, Fulford Study Centre, when they were five, before taking on the English programme too. They have each gone on to show determination, perseverance and commitment by completing both programmes!

Becoming a Completer embodies everything Kumon can help a child achieve; not just reaching the advanced levels of calculus, or developing the ability to give critical analysis of advanced texts, but even more valuable, becoming self-learners, motivated and equipped with the skills and abilities to tackle challenges in life, school and beyond.

Having started the programmes so young, their Kumon journeys have taken them from the very basics of number writing, through multiplication and division, fractions and algebra, to functions and calculus, finishing with undergraduate-level maths. The English programme has seen them learn about sentence and paragraph building to master summarisation and critique.

Ricky and Warren also both took their maths GCSE early, with Warren gaining an A* aged 11. Warren also achieved A* in two maths A-levels in summer 2014. Both are also talented musicians and sportsmen.

Ricky and Warren’s mother, Emily, said: “I enrolled Ricky and Warren on the Kumon programmes as I was looking for something where they could work at their own pace; a more structured way where they could progress. I liked Kumon as it gave a lot of weight to accuracy and building the foundations. The boys have built up their skills and confidence, which is important for now and the future. Kumon has set them up for life.”

Ricky said: “When I started Kumon I was looking to be challenged, especially with maths. It helped me be ahead of my year in quite a lot in lessons as I had covered topics before in Kumon. It also helped with my organisation as I was used to doing work every day.

“It was nice to have Warren working beside me on the programmes; I was able to go to him if I was stuck on a part he had already been on. In the maths programme I liked algebra and in the English programme I liked to dip into the different stories and comprehend the language. When I am older I’d like to do something with science, such as computer engineering or psychology simulations.”

“Kumon was good for building resilience in lessons.”

Warren said: “When I started on the programmes I was good at maths but tried to find a way to excel. I enjoyed English in school and wanted to push the boundaries. Kumon was good for building resilience in lessons. At school you might forget what you did, but at Kumon repetition is involved. Kumon helped a lot also with study skills; I believe this is perhaps more important than the actual things you learn. You can apply the fundamental study skills to other subjects.”

“I enjoyed the X levels (optional levels) at the end of the maths programme; you get to see the different areas of maths and how it’s applied. In the later levels of the English programme especially you get to see different types of literature such as poetry and stories.

“I want to do maths at university and hope to attend Cambridge. I’m leaving my options open for the moment about a career but I think I’m going to go into research.”